I haven’t posted anything in a few days ‘cause I’ve been brainstorming and researching some things. We originally came to Belize wanting to open a restaurant. We were/are open to other ideas, because we knew that having never been to Belize before now, we weren’t sure what to expect. Don’t get me wrong, we did tons of research…online. But much of what we found varied from person to person. We weren’t so naive as to believe online research was enough to equip us with all we needed to know about starting a business in Belize. Now that we are here and have been able to see how things work, and have had the opportunity to ask around, we are much more open to trying a different type of business. Honestly, I see the poor starving dogs here and all I want to do is start a shelter. They don’t really do that kind of thing here. I’m not saying there aren’t dog shelters, I saw a tiny one on Caye Caulker, but there are too many people that are living in poverty for there to even be a concern for animal shelters. Here I am between a rock and hard spot. I want to be of service to the people, but all the needy are in my heart (including animals), and I want my own business too. I figure, God put the desire for us to have our own business for a reason. I’ve wanted to have my own business since I was really young. If He opens the doors for us and blesses this business; which would really be His business not ours anyway, then maybe that would help open the doors for starting a non-profit. Hence all the research; what kind of business do we invest in? There are plenty of restaurants here; they don’t need any more of those. What skills do we have that can best serve this community? A couple of people have told us computers. Great! I enjoy technology, but it’s expensive and the import fees are high. Then there’s my/our passion for photography. We could travel the world and sell the photos of our memories. But the world has plenty of those too! Maybe we could still use it as a write off for our travels and equipment at least right? These are just a couple of examples of what we are thinking of, and researching. Any and all prayers for us are greatly appreciated. I know God will open the right door at the right time. Just wish (and pray) He would tell us what to do now, ‘cause my eyes are going cross-eyed from all the reading :0).
Today we finally went to see some Mayan ruins! We found out that the Copper Horse Inn offers a tour to Lamanai for $65 U.S. per person. They drove us to Orange Walk, which is about an hour drive from Corozal Town. From there we took a tour of the New River and saw Spider Monkeys (see above picture). The guide stopped so we could maybe give the Spider Monkeys a snack. These monkeys are very used to people, and getting snacks from them, so when the boat was close enough one of them just jumped in and walked down the aisle waiting for someone to hand her a snack. The guides usually take bananas, but they forgot them, so he asked if we had cookies or anything to give the monkeys. One guy said he has cookies, and as soon as the monkey heard the zipper to the back-back she went over there to see what he had. I normally don’t agree with feeding wild animals, but I can definitely see why they do it. It made for a really cool experience! Once we got to the Mayan site they fed us lunch before we hiked up to the Mask Temple (see picture below). The High Temple was our next venture. As I’m sure you can tell by the name, this temple is higher and steeper, but once you get to the top…the view is absolutely amazing! I’ve never been that high before (outside an airplane) so I wasn’t sure if I was afraid of heights. I decided to be cautious about it and not look down until I finished climbing to the top. The view was so beautiful and so worth the climb, the fear of heights didn’t even enter my mind. Contrary to what I thought, it was so much easier going down than it was going up. I just stepped sideways the whole way down, and switched sides every 20 steps to get an equal work out on both legs. :0) We also got to see Howler Monkeys, and wow they sound so cool! There were a couple of babies there and they were adorable! The last temple we saw was the Jaguar Temple; we were not allowed to climb that one, but the whole area was really beautiful! I recommend this tour for anyone who hasn’t given it a try. Now I have to talk my husband into taking me to Tikal in Guatemala. It was a Mayan capital and is huge, and from what I hear you can also camp out there and take a sunrise and sunset tour! I can’t wait!
I’ve been hard pressed to find a place to cut my hair since we arrived in Belize. I should’ve had it done back in the states before I came to give me some time, but being the procrastinator that I am…it didn’t happen. So here in Corozal I’ve only seen one place that cuts women’s hair. I went in to check it out, and she was busy. It’s a good sign right? Well apparently she was too busy for me and didn’t seem to care to have my business. She didn’t try making an appointment with me or anything. I’m very weary of having people cut my hair. Only one person has ever cut it the way I like it, but she would cut my hair way too short every time. Why do they do that? Everyone I know has the same problem finding someone that won’t chop their hair off. Anyway, I’d rather have a referral from people I know so I asked some of the people at church, and I had two people tell me of this one located behind the bank. Yesterday was a holiday so I couldn’t go then, but today I stopped by and she was able to cut my hair. She did a great job with the layers, but as most people do, she cut my hair a lot shorter than I would’ve liked. I’m not too sore about this since it’s been about 6 months since I’ve had my hair cut. It feels so much healthier so I’m happy. Maybe next time she won’t feel that she needs to cut so much off. Oh, by the way, it only cost $10 BZ!
Election Day: Today was big day for voting here in Belize. They have the UDP, or United Democratic Party. They are the red party. Then there is the PUP, or the People’s United Party. They are the blue party. They have been having parades here in Corozal Town for the past couple of weeks. Today being such a big voting day, many businesses were closed. The streets were very busy all day. There are voting booths to the right and to the left of us. They had crowds there all day! They are very loud and excited, but I admire their passion. They even have a couple of songs they play to get people to vote. I wish people in the U.S. would get as excited to vote. Even more I guess I would wish they vote more responsibly. Anyhow, it’s been a very interesting day.
I decided to post some pictures of products that are considered common back in the states. Some of the prices here in Belize are comparable to what you find in the states. I have noticed that junk food, and well any processed foods tend to be considerably more expensive. The prices shown on the products are Belize prices. The currency conversion is pretty easy since it stays at a fixed rate of 2 Belize for every 1 US dollar. So from now on when I tell you Belize prices, just divide by two to get the US prices.
Fajitas cost: $9
rice & beans: $3
salsa cost: $3.50
total cost: $15.50 Belize
which is : $7.75 U.S
This fed three of us (my husband, my brother and myself) plus we had a little left over.
We guesstimated based on what we could remember, this would have cost us about $14.65 back in California.